Shut Up and Shuffle - A Fan's Love for EDM

By Ravi in EDM, EDM News
Saturday, March 16, 2013, 6:34pm. (Updated: 10/24/13 at 9:43pm) Add comments

Dance to express, not to impress.
Edited by Ravi Bayanker
Commentary by ‘Josh van Dyk’

Begin

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In early February I set out to write something. I wasn’t sure what – an article or a brief overview. I wanted to give light to Electronic Dance Music and all it has to offer. I wanted it to be a collaborative effort so I asked a few people what (EDM) meant to them. The stories were eerily similar. Stories of love, acceptance and finally finding the ‘something’ they had been searching for.

I’m known locally for doing the Melbourne Shuffle. It’s how people recognize and remember me. My first show was Avicii at the DC Armory on Nov 18, 2011. Before going I was timid and shy. I didn’t express myself much, even to the people with whom I was closest. I had butterflies in my stomach. I didn’t want to dance. People would judge me. I was scared to just be myself.

I was playing on my phone, waiting for the venue to fill (I got there right as it opened). I wanted to be lost in a crowd so nobody would see me. Hopefully then I would be able to come out of my shell and dance. I spoke to a few people, made a few connections. I didn’t expect anything to come of it. As the room filled I started to dance, just doing random stuff. Eventually I said screw it and danced my heart out until I couldn’t move. I had fun. I felt free. That was the beginning.

Embrace

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I decided to embrace (the EDM) scene. But I needed something to hold on to. I chose shuffling as my thing. I slowly learned. As I learned I grew. I became more outgoing and carefree. I was leaving the timid nature of my past and becoming a new person.

It took about 3 months to get the first steps down. When I did, that was the first day I truly lived. I had something to latch on to. A passion that gave each day new light. I began making friends… a lot of friends. I didn’t expect to go from a lonely kid who sat at home every weekend to having an active social life overnight. This scene gave me what I was looking for. It gave me life.

Overindulge

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I have to be honest: Drugs are very prevalent in this country as well as the night life scene. It isn’t exclusive to raves, festivals, lounges, bars or clubs. But raves have the stereotype of being a haven for consumption. I indulged a bit. The common one associated with this scene is MDMA, or Molly. I thought it was enhancing my experience. I delved often.

(Editors Note: Glow does not endorse the consumption of illegal, mind-altering substances. If you live in a state where pot is legal then lucky you.)

I lost track of the scene which gave me friends, life, hope and made me feel loved. I dove head first into a life of inebriation. Sobriety was a foreign entity. Slowly I drifted into the abyss. Sleep was a waste of time. Eating was a waste all together. I was dying but didn’t realize it. I experienced psychosis and went through months of anorexia. I thought I was a celebrity. I lost touch with reality. I spent more time on dance floors than I did sleeping. I burnt myself out.

The world of EDM has everything you need to build yourself up – tools to generate a successful mindset that transfers into your daily routine. It also has tools to completely destroy you. To blur the line between real life and fairy tales. It’s just how you embrace it. I’ve felt both the highs and the lows. Right now I’m thankful to be alive. Thankful the lessons I learned have stuck with me. Thankful I was able to grow and become a better person.

Hope & Inspire

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I’ve heard a lot of great stories of people on similar journeys. Finding themselves through music and dance. Dance music provides you with lyrics to hold, beats to remember and a family to cherish. It speaks to everyone. Those who have been misunderstood by society will understand the message clearly.

(The EDM scene) provides an escape. A place to relieve your daily frustrations no matter what’s going on. When you hear the music and start dancing, nothing else matters. It can take a good day and make it better or a bad day and make it bearable. It can take a close-minded person and turn them into a loving, open hearted human.

It provides hope for a better life and the freedom to be who you’ve always felt you were and wanted to be. It’s a vehicle that will take your mind to a spiritually enlightened place. You become lost in the moment. Lost in each memory. It’s a burning passion which will never falter.

I heard the story of a woman with a life-threatening illness. She felt hopeless, as if life was futile. She started going to dance music events in DC. It helped her feel alive again. Like she still had love to give.

I have a friend who used to do gymnastics. She stopped. She needed something to fill the void; to help her feel alive again. Shuffling was the answer. She has changed for the better. I’ve noticed in the short time I’ve known her. (Dance music) changes your perspective on everything.

I also have a friend who is a war veteran. He lost his legs in Afghanistan. This music is his escape. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is. If you give it a genuine shot it will change you for the better. It just makes you happy. You are surrounded by thousands of people but alone in your own world. You don’t need narcotics to enjoy dance music.

Love & Accept

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People say electronic music is something you must experience. You can read about it all you want. You can watch videos online and think you know what it’s like. But seeing it live is an entirely different story – having that energy consume you and elevate you to a new plateau. You can look to the person by your side, no matter who they are… even if you’ve never met or spoken a word to them in your life. You can look them in the eye and feel loved. They are not judging you in any way. They support you for everything you are and everything you wish to be.

People complain about how the scene is changing. How it’s gone from being about love and acceptance to a more rugged undertone. The only ones who seem to disagree are those who have been around for decades. This movement is powerful beyond measure. The people and venues may change, but the meaning will not. Dance to express, not to impress. Put your heart and soul into something and it will give you everything you need.

This may not be for you. That’s perfectly fine. But it’s here if you want to give it a chance. There are no outsiders. Despite any disability or challenge you may face day to day, you are loved and accepted here. It’s not about being the best at anything. It’s about having fun and being yourself. Love is a powerful emotion. We just need to work together to make it more prevalent in today’s world.

You can link up with Josh via his Facebook page.
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2 Responses to “Shut Up and Shuffle – A Fan’s Love for EDM”

Comments (2)
  1. ashley says:

    Love this!!!! I totally agree with everything said!!! I wish more people understood what the EDM scene truly means.

  2. Arnold says:

    Dam wish they’d another thing like this, have a whole bunch of friends who would love to come out and shuffle

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